Thieves target Walton school
Equipment worth thousands of dollars has been stolen from a Matamata primary school by ‘‘low-life’’ thieves.
Police believe Walton Primary School was ransacked by professional burglars on Thursday night.
It is understood two other schools in the area were also hit.
The burglars jimmied doors, disarmed the alarm and stole 16 laptops, a camera, a portable projector and money the pupils had fundraised. They also trashed four classrooms, the library and office block.
They took principal Bob Marlow’s bag of ‘‘caught being good’’ prizes, which are given to a deserving pupil each week.
Board of trustees chairman Bevan Pratt said the burglary ‘‘seemed like a pretty professional sort of a hit’’.
‘‘We’re only a very small, rural school and it’s a real shame that someone as low as the people who have done it have picked on children,’’ he said. ‘‘Because at the end of the day it’s the children who miss out.’’
He said the stolen laptops had been disarmed remotely and would be worthless.
Jenn Ireland, whose 9-year-old daughter attends Walton Primary, said pupils were upset by the break-in.
‘‘The community works hard to provide better education for our children and some low-life comes in and targets it, cleans it all out and you’ve got a lot of kids who don’t understand why.’’
A property near the school was also broken into and alcohol, a television and a stereo was taken.
Police suspect the two incidents are connected and are following lines of inquiry.
Anyone with information can contact Matamata police on 888 7117 or alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.